The client is a slight, seven-year old boy who has struggled with breathing issues from birth. He has seen several homeopaths and taken many different remedies, with limited success. At the time of the appointment, he has begun to have significant trouble breathing once again. The case was taken via phone and video conferencing and given by his mother.
Case as given by the client’s mother:
Lyssinum was the last remedy, a year and a few months ago. Right after the 200, he wasn’t doing the usual rapid breathing and wheezing. It made it a more normalized chest infection. He was grinding his teeth after the remedy, to the point where his door was closed and we could hear it. It helped for 8 to 9 months.
He was born in the hospital. During pregnancy, when I was a few weeks along, I had hyperemesis and kept vomiting to the point of bile. I looked like a nine-year old, just skin and bones. The OB didn’t do anything except say I hope you survive.
I got cavities. The baby drained the nutrition from me. I had to stop working. I had cracked and bleeding lips, was barely walking, had to be lifted in and out of the tub because I was so weak. Wonderful nurses came and put IV’s in. My veins collapsed and they had to put a PIC line in.
He was put in NICU. The respiratory rate was 2.5 times higher than normal and would not slow down. His temperature kept dropping. The diagnosis was sepsis. I pumped colostrum and they wouldn’t give it to him. He was flaccid, not responsive. They yanked him away and I don’t know the color of him. By the time I could see him he was red, on O2 and IV. I started dipping my finger into colostrum and giving it to him. Husband had to watch for the nurses so I didn’t get in trouble.
He was scaly looking. There was immense peeling. He was an eczema baby. At 2 – 3 months he came out with blotches.
He was colicky from the time he got home. He cried 24/7. He was stuck on the breast, it was the only thing that shut him up. I just stuck him on there while I walked through the house. The motion that helped was taking him in hands and going fast up and down, vertical motion. An overload of the nervous system.I had a yeast infection for 16 years and I couldn’t bear it. So he was born with it.
I went to a homeopath who gave Borax 6C. We also gave him Nystatin and I could tell it was awful and it wasn’t doing crap. It didn’t take it away. It took another month before it went away with Borax a few times a day.
Eczema started at 3 months. He managed to rub enough to open it. It got very red, no bleeding. Annoying red blotches, dryish. The dermatologist gave cortisone cream. I knew this was a band aid. It’s not getting to what the problem is. The spot went away, but it would reappear in a different spot.
[A homeopath] on the east coast….. I took him against my husband’s wishes. It was a three hour appointment. He gave Phosphorus 200C. The skin cleared within a week. He was 4 to 5 months old.
I sheltered him, cut ourselves off from everybody, due to respiratory issues. I did not want people touching him. At a year I let others hold him. At 9 months old he was running by himself. No crawling. No type of rolling. He would throw a fit if you tried to make him roll. He would pull up at 5 to 6 months and stand there for an hour.
At a year, this respiratory stuff started happening. Rattling in his lungs started. Our first house was an old country home that had the first level halfway under the ground. There was moisture in the house. We thought maybe there was mold in the walls. We slept down there in the summer.
The Phosphorus helped for about a year, then the eczema came back. The spots moved. As a newborn, it was on the face and forehead and temples. As a toddler, it was starting to move to the chest. In the latter years, it was the back of the knees and anterior knees.
When he fell asleep, he had blood all over his back and butt. He scratched until blood was drawn. Between the thighs there were lacerations from his nails. At 4 and 5 it was behind the knees and the thighs. In the past year I haven’t seen any itching at all.
At a year and a half….. everything in the chest. Extremely rapid breathing for a baby. It was a continuous rise of his chest. You could watch every muscle attached to his neck pulling at the chest. It was very rapid. When it turned wet, you could hear it across the room.
It was so hard to watch him cough. He looked like he would choke and die. Every time he took a week to calm down the breathing. At 2.5 years old, I took him to see [another homeopath]. He was wonderful and listened. [Client] had a fever on the way over. He gave him Ferrum phosphoricum right away and it took the temperature away immediately.
At the end of the second month he decided to wake up. With this homeopath, over the course of 6 months we gave him: Antimonium tartaricum 200 and 12, Natrum sulphuricum 200, Sulphur 200, and Hepar sulphuris calcareum.
Anytime he had an acute thing going on and a few days would go by, when the worst hell of the respiratory was over, he would itch like mad. It would itch him to death. It would wake him up. Only aloe or Calamine would soothe him.
He was doing better. We moved to [a new state] about 2 1/2 years ago because we went through pure hell in a preschool on the east coast. There was a co-op thing and the parents would not accept the vaccine exemption. They threatened us and interrogated us.
He grew up understanding and feeling things around him and always sensed my frustration. He’s just become such a big part of me. I went to [a different homeopath] about a year ago for the rapid breathing and itching. She gave him Lyssinum 200.
Especially in the last couple years, it starts with the nasal stuff. It might start clear and runny. He will look away and sniff it up. He will not blow his nose. I think if he tried to get it out maybe it would help. Then it turns yellow and gets thicker and has a more gluey texture.
As soon as it gets to yellow the coughing starts. A wet cough. He would never sweat no matter how high the fever. It went high and stayed high. No up or down day or night. Burning feet, burning hands, burning face, not one damp spot.
He is extremely vocal. Can outtalk anyone. He is very eloquent, like an adult.
Client: I have a dry cough. It hurts a little in my throat and in my lungs. It hurts a little when I don’t cough. It’s worse when I’m coughing.
Mom: His spirits are great this time, he’s not as exhausted. We’ve given him colloidal silver every day.
He likes challenge, he’s very competitive, he plays soccer. You get to score goals. He used to be able to do nothing as a little kid because of the constant chest stuff. He had no endurance. We moved here when he was 5 and he didn’t get the acute things as much, since it’s warmer here. Now he has great endurance.
Client: In my dream there was a backhoe pouring snow on our house. I have very weird dreams. I was playing soccer with my friend and he kicked me in the face.
Mom: At four years old he could add double digits. He’s obsessed with numbers, loves math. I did see stuff in him when my husband and I were going through our difficult time. He would have fear in his eyes when my husband was controlling. He would yell at him. [My husband] does not treat him the same as the younger son.
When dad is ignoring or yelling, he is extremely sad or upset. He tries to talk; to over-talk to get attention. If dad gets annoyed, he shuts down and gets very quiet. If he cries in front of dad, he will call him a sissy and go on about that. Dad tells him not to show weakness or people will take advantage of him.
He has become quite the materialist. He loves to save his money. He wants to be right. He has hundreds of dollars and doesn’t spend it on anything. He’ll tell me how much money he has. He wants to know how much everything costs and talks about his money. He loves money and numbers.
He’s a good negotiator. On the bus he can manage to trick someone and swap his sandwich for three sandwiches. He’ll swap pennies for a dollar and make it look like it’s more than it is. Dad tells him to outsmart people
Wheezing is persistent during coughing. You don’t even have to put your head to his chest to hear. It’s always on expiration, but sometimes both. The rapid breathing is a bigger concern. It exhausts him. He wants to sit up, he can’t fall asleep.
Things are worse at night. The worst stages start in the evening or the middle of the night.
Repertorization using The Complete Repertory:
RESPIRATION, ASTHMATIC, alternating with eruptions
MIND, AMBITION, ambitious, money, for RESPIRATION, ACCELERATED
FEVER, HEAT, PERSPIRATION, absent MIND, DECEITFUL, sly
Based on these rubrics, I considered Calcarea carbonica, Psorinum, and Arsenicum iodatum.
Calcarea carbonica appears in each of the above rubrics. Although it is more common to find a Calcarea carb with a sweaty head, it is even found in Fever, Heat, perspiration, absent. It is a common eczema remedy as well. This remedy, although it can be loquacious, does tend to be more reserved than this child. He is also quite thin and wiry. Nothing about him says “slow”. This remedy is not the appropriate prescription.
Psorinum might be a useful remedy to prescribe. It is a nosode and potentially capable of sorting out the case, especially considering the early suppression of the eczema and the repeated homeopathic remedies that did not seem to be very effective. This client is obviously Psoric, with his internal disease repeatedly attempting to push out onto the skin, despite the suppression. However, the case seems clear enough that it is not needed.
Arsenicum iodatum has been used with great success when there is short respiration and chronic inflammatory states of the lungs. The subject must sit up to breathe, as this child does, and the discharge is consistent with what is described in this case. It is also useful in chronic skin conditions.
Arsenicum album appears more often in the repertory than Arsenicum iodatum, but we know that the latter will have many of the same characteristics of Asenicum album. The iodatum piece makes this remedy a good choice for children who are hyperactive, as this client appears to be; more so than simply restless, and he also has the great prostration mentioned.
Arsenicum iodatum LM1 is given, to be taken once a day for five days and then as symptoms indicate.
Follow up information has been obtained from initially frequent and then less consistent phone calls and video chats with the mother.
Over a period of approximately eight months, this client continued to gradually improve. There was an instance where very itchy eczema was coming out on his chest and upper back. Mom was encouraged to allow it to work through and after a week it had resolved itself. Other patches of eczema have come to the surface at various times, each time leaving the client with an increased ability to breathe and fight off illness.
The client began crying within a week of taking the remedy. He could not stop himself. This was difficult for the father, but we discussed the importance of the emotional release. Always after crying he felt relief. The parents were willing to let it continue if it led to increased health.
Improvement continued. He caught a few colds that quickly resolved, without even going to his chest. There was no rapid breathing or wheezing. He did not need to sit up to cough, and he sweat with his fevers.
This child had a great deal of suppression. It began the moment he was born, as he was whisked away to the NICU. Whether or not it was necessary is irrelevant. He likely experienced a level of suppression both from the shock of not being with his mother after birth and from the medicine given to him in the NICU. The suppression continued with cortisone cream and a yeast remedy that did not seem to be the correct one. There is also a great deal of emotional suppression. His father did not allow him to cry.
After the remedy, things started moving back to the surface. He began crying in an appropriate way for a young child. He started sweating when he was warm. The eczema came back out and was even directly over his chest.
In June 2010, he came down with a case of Pertussis. He was holding his own, but mom and I both thought an acute remedy would be appropriate, since the Arsenicum iodatum didn’t seem to be helping as much as either of us would have liked. Mom tried a few remedies on her own and I recommended two others.
None of these were successful. After a period of time, it was decided that returning to the Arsenicum iodatum would be best, since it would at least be supportive. I suggested diluting it out to the third glass, to avoid potential aggravation and allow frequent repetition. It was enough to facilitate healing. A reminder to look at potency first when we’ve got a remedy that is working!
He recovered fully and continues to improve in general.